The boy played with his new toy car as his father watched the news. A wheel broke from the car to which the boy’s reaction was loud but innocent. The boy exclaimed loudly looking at his ill fated toy. Oh shit!! the audible proclamation of fecal matter, immediately activated the disciplinary gene in the usually dormant father. He picked up the boy, placing him on his lap, took it upon himself to make the boy’s bum a dark shade of rouge, like the shade on the cheeks of an overenthusiastic bride.

As the father continued the beating, he spoke words of wisdom, “Son, never say oh shit. Always say oh god help.
The next day again the child played with his broken toy and as fate would have it, another wheel became loose, to which again the boy’s reaction was a loud scream ‘Oh shit!’

The father, again with the precision of a swiss clock, jumped into action, put the boy on his lap and gave another solid spanking for he thought he needed to knock some sense into the boy. One would think beating the bum was the path to enlightenment and like a happy meal always comes with a toy, the beating came with a message – “Son, we never ever say ‘oh shit’, we always say ‘oh god’.”

The third day again the boy played with his toy. The father stared wide-eyed, waiting like a feline stalking its pray. The child continued his play and as if the heavens were in a mocking mood, again the wheel of the car broke loose. The father watched crouching, ready to move with the slightest provocation. But the boy was now wiser. He joined his hands and looking up, whispered, “Oh god, and lo ! magically the wheels of the cars came and joined to the toy.
As the child lifted the car floating mid air through divine grace, his father jumped up the sofa and witnessing the miracle exclaimed – ‘Oh shit!’

This was a joke which my friends and I shared when young. What I didn’t understand back then was the amount of wisdom this small anecdote had in itself. What the story shows is the single most popular style of parenting which my father used to call parroting. Not just parenting, parroting in itself is the easiest, laziest and the most comforting conformist approach to any discipline which life may have to offer.

Unlike the early men, today neither do we rely on tradition nor like the animals we have instinctual knowledge within us. Today, society dooms men to follow a very dangerous path to acquiring knowledge. A path known as conformity, where from the moment one is born, one starts to acquire information by mimicking the crowd around, irrespective of the fact that the crowd may be completely devoid of basic comprehension of earthly phenomenon. The phenomenon of ‘not knowing’ creates a state of anxiety among beings of higher consciousness. So prevent this state.

Enteric answers are created by men of unknown origin and like a vast heard of wild beasts transverses in the plains of Masai Mara – following but the beast in front oblivious to the fact that the heard may be leading the being to the wild Mara river infested with hungry crocodiles. A man too navigates through life with a set of principles and guidelines given to him by the crowd, not knowing where these directions would lead him. A destination which can be as diverse as enlightenment on one hand to eternal damnation on the other My father showed me that like a parrot repeats what it hears, incognizant to its true meaning. so too men all around repeat ridiculous spiritual truths or incoherent religious philosophies passed on from generations, unaware of the depth or truth of what exactly that wisdom stands for.

Everyone’s a parrot, my father would exclaim, in his usually cheerful demeanor. An routine explanation from his wise self to my ignorant being when I would come to him stating the presiding blatant buffoonery in the name of godliness.

Now one would debate live and let live, let the parrots be. But one doesn’t understand how volatile society becomes if one is left to follow the path of parroting. Let me elaborate. There are two types of laws – the laws of science which can be verified, recreated, understood and calculated and the laws of parroting, which generally, usually, mostly & in fact almost always rely on blind faith. These laws do not adhere to any form of methodology or for that matter even common sense.

If one person makes us understand the laws of gravity and another comes to that man stating that I do not believe, one would amusingly look at the clown who refuses to grasp simple truths. He would dismiss this incident pertaining to the dimwit of the simpleton. For the one who’s wise knows that gravity exists regardless of one’s beliefs.

But now let us assume one is a parrot. He doesn’t fully understand the doctrine that he preaches. If such a man is challenged, to protect his ego from defeat, he will enter a state of cognitive dissonance, a state in which one becomes aggressive, uncomfortable and anxious when provided counter proofs to one’s beliefs. Such a man will resort to name calling or even bodily harm just like a parrot who in the company of another parrot starts to squawk at a deafening decibel. You will find the strong squawking and the meek squeaking and what the future generations are left with is nothing but a senseless, very vocal society.

Spirituality is a science and like all sciences are preceded by query so too spirituality, in order to be sustained, it must be preceded by a simple acceptance that’s one’s understanding is finite . All science is developed not by parroting the wrong answers but by asking the right questions.

One who is truly divine will have the power to say I don’t know. I don’t know are the most powerful words to be ever uttered by our species. All science must have risen from this question. When a young man must have looked at the sun and uttered what is it, a parrot would have told him that’s the sun god in his chariot going from one place to the other, circling the earth. And that would have been the end of curiosity of the man. A parroting parent murders the curiosity of his own child and with curiosity, the single chance of enlightenment which the soul may have had. On the other hand, imagine if the parent would have said to the child’s inquiry, “Son, I do not know, let us find the answer together.” How beautiful it would be when both would work and one day stumble upon the truth, a truth which carries a method, a truth that can be recreated. Science suffered, the world was in dark ages where curiosity was condemned, where masses produced truth in the name of religious beliefs. And science thrived when one would just simply accept ones ignorance and would exclaim, “I don’t know.” That would be the start of discovery. This was the essence of our true culture – when children were sent at a young age to the gurukuls, where they would meditate to realize their own truths, where such an environment was created that a child would in his own capacity realize the universal truth and not just parrot.

Such a child would grow up to be an asset to the society whereas parrots are just assets sans the ‘ets’ from the word.

That was the difference I noticed between the revolutionary that is my father and the parrots. My father always challenged conformity. Whenever I would go to him asking about other religions and complicated but common philosophies, he would always say – “I have no idea my son. The only thing I can tell you about is the path that I have followed and the answers that I have discovered. An answer which was a world apart from the one dished out by the spiritual parrots for they had an answer and a view to everything.”

Maybe that’s why spirituality degraded.

You won’t go to your Gardener for medical advice then why go to a random person for spiritual advice or for that matter to a spiritual person for economic advice. If we let the ludicrous lead, then the radical plummet of general IQ is inevitable. A man must learn to keep his ego aside and accept what he knows and what he doesn’t. This Information Age gives anyone with an Internet connection the perception to be as wise as the Buddha, but no matter how profound one may think one’s research is, the fact remains that spirituality – like any discipline – needs self mastery, dedication and meditation for the true answers to manifest. Reading a journal on the techniques of swimming may not make a person aquatically able or prepared to face a raging river. In the same way, parroting the scriptures does not prepare one to subdue the turmoils of one’s life. It may make one frustrated and in a constant state of subconscious conflict as one may feel one is reading the scripture yet no respite – a state quite visible to the next generation – till eventually it becomes transparent to the children that the doctrine being presented to them in a palatable platter is nothing more then a diversion to life.

My father said that the words in the scriptures were never meant to be repeated but experienced and all words that we may read are nothing more than someone’s experience. And the beauty about human experience is that it is subjective to the consciousness undergoing the transformation. Serve the same dish to ten, they will interpret it to their understanding. There can never be a universal interpretation of poetry. It must be dealt & experienced.

There are never universal answers to anything. Any true subject will always evolve with innovation and time. Like medicine evolved, science evolved, in the same manner what was divine yesterday has become science today. And as the only thing permanent is change, so too true spirituality has evolved. Parents must take example from how I was raised and how I will raise my son. Parents must learn to drop their egos and understand the truest universal truth is the one that comes from experience. When a child feels curiosity, it must not be plucked but nourished. Answers must not be presented but realized.

One must take pride, not that he knows all the answers but because he is built in such a manner that he seeks the answers because even if you know all the answers, it is like knowing the equation. Just be knowing that E=MC2 or just by knowing the Pythagoras theorem, doesn’t make a person mathematician. you must know how to solve the equation to get the answer on his own. In the same way one might have read the scriptures, but it counts for nothing. You must know how to solve the scriptures, how to come to that conclusion on yourself. And that is why Shiv yogi is a person whose truly curious about life, spirituality, divinity and God.

What if both parents would meditate and find the answers with their children. Imagine how divine that family would be, how peaceful. For it is not parroting. Hence, there is no need to defend. Such a family realizes it’s truth and remains in this state of constant evolution. Imagine a family raising supermen where various thoughts and ideas are openly discussed and inner experiences invoked through mediation . For such a family realizes that the source of all knowledge is not a external deity but the internal divinity and the purpose of life is not to please some being in the heavens but to awaken the divine potential that lies dormant in all beings, beings which in themselves are made of star stuff and are the seeds to the infinite universe.

One can find God only when one first realizes the need to find. If all answers already are memorized and presented to inflate the ego, then why would such a mind seek? A mind which has the taste of divine will never waste itself to convince the uninitiated for it would be preoccupied with the eternal bliss of the supreme truth.

I am a Shivanand and thus I accept, I know much yet there is a lot to learn. I am a Shivanand and like my father, I gladly accept what I do not know and what I do know, I work consistently to refine. Maybe that is why my father is never afraid. He openly invites doctors and scientists and seekers to come and meditate with him.

He calls so that what he knows, he does not pass in words but in experience. Maybe that’s why they call him the father of Indian healing and not the parrot of healing as he never speaks what he doesn’t know and what he speaks is that which is mastered in a lifetime.

Following from this, if you consider yourself spiritual, I give a simple test to determine your divinity.

Whenever in a conversation of God, to the most mundane of queries you feel obligated to give most profound answers. You feel that’s it’s your responsibility to convert all those who don’t believe. Understand you are officially a parrot. If your knowledge just gives you peace and you are driven to meditate by your experiences. When what drives you is nothing more then chasing the high experienced by your Guru’s deeksha, know this you are the one truly the sadhak of your Guru. Know this – it is you who will inherit the heart and soul of the divine. Know this that at that time when you accept you don’t know you have opened up to a wonderful world of opportunity wonder and awe. The time when you are my brother.

Bless you
Namah Shivay